- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - A move by city officials to add police officers to staff the 911 emergency call center has hit opposition from the police union.

The city planned to promote seven police officers to fill jobs at the 911 center as part of a plan to put dispatchers back in the hands of officers instead of civilians, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/1okJsD3 ). But the union successfully argued in court last week that the promotions would violate their contract.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69 President Sgt. Dan Hils suggested on his union Facebook page that making the decision about promotions without contacting the union was “a move by city administration to pit us against each other.”

City officials planned to put officers in the communications center after concerns over performance issues, according to a December memo from city Manager Harry Black.

The union filed a grievance and asked for an injunction based on breach of contract. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh brokered an agreement in which the city agreed to not promote off the existing promotion list, leaving the 911 center in limbo.

Cincinnati police Assistant Chief Dave Bailey said this is “an emergency situation that has to be taken care of.”

“It’s the front lines of public safety,” he said.

City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething said the city is committed to making sure the 911 center is run effectively. She said city officials are willing to sit down and work out the dispute.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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